With Divergent, Catching Fire and The Fault in Our Stars all in some form of production right now, Young Adult literature readers have a flood of favorite books hitting the big screen in the next several months. While the majority of the focus has been on leading ladies, Valentines Day 2014 will give the boys another moment in the spotlight with James Dashner’s The Maze Runner.
When Thomas (played by Teen Wolf’s Dylan O’Brien) wakes up in some sort of elevator knowing nothing but his name, he’s got to figure out what’s going on and perhaps who he is. He soon finds out that he’s not alone in this uncommon situation, but that there are a few dozen other boys who have arrived through the same box, once a month, over the past few years. A social order has been established and there are jobs for everyone, but some are far better than others.
The biggest mystery of the boys’ circumstance is the giant maze that surrounds their home, which they call the Glade. Food has to be made and chores have to be done, but the most elite, in shape and courageous of the group earn their way into the group of runners; boys who literally run through the unsolvable maze each day to find out how it has changed overnight and what those changes could possibly mean for the Gladers.
The day after Thomas arrives, something happens in the Glade that has never happened before. Someone new is sent up in the box, a girl. Kaya Scodelario (Skins) plays Teresa, who triggers some big changes for the boys. It’s clear that Teresa and Thomas had some kind of connection before they were sent to the Glade, though any memory of what it was is gone with the rest of their previous lives.
Thomas must now gain the trust of the friends that he has made in the Glade, played by a few guys you may recoginze: Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game of Thrones, Love Actually), Will Poulter (Son of Rambo), Ki Hong Lee (The Nine Lives of Chloe King) and more, in order to figure out where exactly they are and how it is that they can get out.
The fact that Dashner helped adapt his own book into the screenplay and created such a mystery for his characters to figure out should allow The Maze Runner to translate well to screen. A quick glance at the author’s Twitter feed (@jamesdashner) will let you know how excited he is for the next seven months, and I have no problem admitting that I am too.
Are you excited for The Maze Runner to join the list of YA novels to appear on the big screen? What other adaptations are you looking forward to seeing?